Magill Estate Restaurant in a shambles again

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Magill Estate Restaurant in a shambles again

Postby n4sir » Thu Feb 11, 2010 3:53 pm

It appears the wheels have well and truly fallen off at the Penfolds Magill Estate Restaurant (again).

Head Sommelier Remon Van de Kerkhof quit last month. {Snip}. They've had two Sommeliers that have lasted less than two weeks, and the front of house staff are woefully inexperienced - some diners have apparently resorted to helping themselves to wine from the serving desk!

I'm amazed this type of chaos seems to happen every couple of years at what is supposed to be the pinnacle of food-wine dining in Adelaide. I guess it's happened enough times now I shouldn't be. :roll:

Cheers,
Ian

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Postby Guest 389 » Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:04 pm

I didn't know about Stepsys leaving... that was really where the potential was. Dear oh dear...

No Grage. No Magill Estate. No Manse. What's next?
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Postby Seven » Thu Feb 11, 2010 6:25 pm

rooview wrote:I didn't know about Stepsys leaving... that was really where the potential was. Dear oh dear...

No Grage. No Magill Estate. No Manse. What's next?


and Auge? after sommelier David Scott left, the winelist has been shifted to more premium (=not affordable) wines...

How's the Manse in these days?
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Postby Guest 389 » Thu Feb 11, 2010 6:58 pm

Manse has just had a bit of a shake up re chefs... I've not been for a few months.

The gossip re Magill is Remon left due to a disagreement about diversification of the wine list and being made reponsible for many duties other than sommelier. His experience couldn't (despite trying) be accomodated in Adelaide. He's now working at Aria in Sydney I believe.

Basically, Adelaide's fine dining is a thing of the past... Sure, there is great food and wonderful restaurants (Fino, Enoteca when not busy, Auge, Appelation, Rockford Lunch etc.) but it's all in the smart-casual category. Nothing wrong with that and I think it suits Adelaide's lifestyle... but it's a marked change from Adelaide's 'glory' days when people flew *to* Adelaide.

Least our markets, sea resources, etc. haven't left us!
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Postby n4sir » Thu Feb 11, 2010 8:28 pm

It also comes down to the Fosters corporate machine calling in the toecutters again... :evil:

The exact same thing happened a few years ago (and a few years before that) - a new manager comes in promising cost savings and the shit hits the fan (which is always on high). The Chef, Sommelier and the majority of the staff walk out, the place is in complete turmoil and its standards go down the toilet.

After about a year they decide to restore its fading reputation and hunt down a new Chef with an impressive resume (and usually some of the staff who walk out) and it all starts over again. :roll:

Not so coincidentally, over the last couple of months the Penfolds Magill cellar door has been clearing out their stock of magnums from the cellar. The official reason is to make room, but it sounds like bullshit to me - I reckon they need the cash, not the space.

Cheers,
Ian
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Postby n4sir » Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:36 pm

rooview wrote:Manse has just had a bit of a shake up re chefs... I've not been for a few months.


Was that after the Hoddles Creek dinner there August last year?
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Postby Seven » Fri Feb 12, 2010 9:27 pm

n4sir wrote:
rooview wrote:Manse has just had a bit of a shake up re chefs... I've not been for a few months.


Was that after the Hoddles Creek dinner there August last year?

The chef left in December last year if I' m correct.

And his sous chef took over the kitchen and apparently he is only 22 years old...

Haven't been there for a while as I had a bad experience there... :(
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Postby Guest 389 » Fri Feb 12, 2010 10:51 pm

Manse is owned by a powerful group... it's best not to speak in ill tones. :lol:
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a shambles, indeed!

Postby olm8 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 6:23 pm

re Magill estate in a shambles...

hmmm. I was one of those sommeliers who lasted less than 2 weeks at Magill Estate.

I would like to comment that Remon struck me as an inspired sommelier completely at wits end from banging his head against a corporate wall. He was forced to take the role of restaurant supervisor, overseeing very inexperienced staff, several of whom were 20 year old Regency "cordon bleu" hotel school know-it-alls. Remon has indeed has left for Aria in sydney, in an assistant sommelier role, which was vastly more attractive to him than acting as a babysitter at Magill.

In my opinion, Luke was committed to taking the restaurant to the highest level, and the loss of any FOH staff member with a bit of experience probably pushed him over the edge.

I still don't (and never will) completely understand the factionalism that was bubbling away back of house.

I heard from high-ranking Penfolds people that the intention was to make Magill Estate a 2 Michelin star equivalent establishment, whereas the Fosters people seemed to see the place as a function centre, or as a club for senior Fosters folks, important trade customers etc

I'd be very interested to see just what John Lethlean would have to say about the place now, in the aftermath of the gentle nudge he gave to the (now late) Grange Restaurant at the Hilton!
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Postby Spielzeug » Wed Mar 24, 2010 12:46 pm

So now Adelaide is completely without any fine dining whatsoever?

What's happened at the Manse now?

Anyway, with regard to Magill they should completely dispense with any designs on granduer (and seriously; molecular gastronomy and current release Penfolds is not a match made in heaven) and turn it into something along the lines of Melbourne's the Point or the European, good food and produce, cooked well, reasonable pricing, matched with decent back vintage gear and you'd pack the place out...

ps. I'm ex-radelaide these days....
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Postby n4sir » Wed Apr 14, 2010 3:04 pm

Just got an email about the Grange dinners in a couple of weeks time - Shannon Fleming is in charge of the six course degustaion menu, so I gather the "global recruitment process" for Luke's eventual replacement is still ongoing.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/ex ... 5844091021

Cheers,
Ian
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Postby Seven » Thu Apr 15, 2010 12:32 pm

n4sir wrote:Just got an email about the Grange dinners in a couple of weeks time - Shannon Fleming is in charge of the six course degustaion menu, so I gather the "global recruitment process" for Luke's eventual replacement is still ongoing.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/ex ... 5844091021

Cheers,
Ian


from an unknown source...
Shannon Fleming used to work in Stamford Plaza in Adelaide before he went to Queensland for good and back to Adelaide a couple of years ago...
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Postby George Krashos » Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:18 pm

Had dinner there last Saturday night and found it enjoyable - not cheap - but over all worth it (the budget was blown by two glasses of champagne and an additional cheese course which added another $100.00 to the bill). The food was interesting and well-cooked (the last course came out a tad cold though) and the '75 Bin 389 we ordered was singing. A lovely Aussie classic.

Service was attentive, friendly and consistent and Shannon is a dab hand with a cheese knife. :) Worth doing and will go again - when my wallet recovers.

-- George Krashos
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Postby Guest 389 » Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:51 am

Good to hear George - I've not been there for a while.
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Re: Magill Estate Restaurant in a shambles again

Postby n4sir » Fri Apr 29, 2011 10:31 am

Absolutely no Grange dinners at Magill Estate this year for the first time since... well actually it's the first time I can recall it happening. :scratch:

No Kalimna Club events have been staged there so far this year for that matter - either it doesn't display much confidence in the staff there, or Penfolds has all but officially abandoned their Adelaide-based faithful. :evil:

Cheers,
Ian
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